Windows Mobile 6.5: Worth it?

If you're running your practice or business with smartphones using software from Microsoft, I'd seriously recommend upgrading to the latest version: Windows Mobile 6.5. Your fingers will be glad you did.

If you're running your practice or business with smartphones using software from Microsoft, I'd seriously recommend upgrading to the latest version: Windows Mobile 6.5. Your fingers will be glad you did.

If there's one thing to be said for smartphones that run Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1, they feel "old." There's a reason for that. Those versions of Microsoft's mobile platform were born nearly a decade ago when the only way to interact with touch screens was via stylus. Now, new screen technology lets us poke at our phones with our fingers. But Windows Mobile never really quite caught up to that trend. It remained rooted in its old-school method of input -- until now.

Microsoft launched Windows Mobile 6.5 several weeks ago, and with it came a slew of new devices from a number of different phone makers. The biggest improvement in the software is that it has been made much more finger friendly. This means interacting with the icons, menus and applications on the screen is much easier and (almost) makes the stylus obsolete.

More than finger friendliness, Windows Mobile 6.5 has also flattened out the folder architecture. This means it is easier to find what you're looking for, as there are fewer layers to dig through to find applications, folders, settings, files and so on.

The new phones running the platform from Microsoft include solid entries available from Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Devices such as the HTC Imagio, Samsung Intrepid, and HTC Pure are worth checking out, for sure.

Another highlight is that Windows Mobile 6.5 supports the new marketplace for Mobile from Microsoft. What's that, you ask? A new apps store that supports the Windows Mobile platform. At launch, there were just under 1,000 applications available for download. Some are free, some require payment. Some are frivolous games, others are solid enterprise offerings. The number of apps available will certainly grow quickly.

The combination of the new software with new devices and the apps store makes Windows Mobile 6.5. a very enticing pick for any business that is being run with Microsoft smartphones.